Sunday, August 28, 2016

Auteur Watch - Erma Elzy-Jones

Man, what a slog.  Ten years as a production associate, and what does it get you?  Well, for Erma Elzy-Jones... you're welcome, journalism students... it gets you a shot on one of the lesser Wayans family projects.  But I tell you darlings, once you're friends with the Wayans family, you don't not want to be.  Reminds me of that story Chris Wayans was telling about the time he got heckled by Chris Rock... see, Rock was in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka way back when, back in the day and what not.  But Erma eventually found a home on the turbulent set of "Moesha."  I guess when you're in the Moesha business, you don't not want to be.
But when you spend all your working day clashing with egos, towards the common goal of producing fiction, sometimes you just need to take a break and do something that might fix this broken world of ours.  In Erma's case, it was the 2002 TV documentary for the Discovery Health Channel called "Silent Crisis: Diabetes Among Us."  I totally give her props for being ahead of the curve.  Now the crisis is no longer silent; now it's just a given.  A few years ago I heard a rather disquieting bit of bad news on the radio, something about how scientists have basically given up on a healthy American diet, that we're all just going to keep inflating like a bunch of fat-filled balloons.  Silent but deadly, as we used to say.
Anyway, directing TV is a thankless job... at least it was when Erma was doing it.  This was before HD, so she was helping to create the TV jobs of the future: fixing the aspect ratios of the fifty-odd years of non-HD television that came before.  Somehow she knew that Moesha's days were numbered, so she kinda sneaked into a show called "The Parkers."  That was a slightly better fit for her than Moesha was: I mean, 13 episodes of "The Parkers" instead of 8 "Moesha"s.  I guess when you're in the Parkers' business... boy, what it must be like to have worked with a future Oscar winner like Mo'Nique.  I'll bet there's some horror stories there of diva behaviour and what not.
The latest thing Erma's done is a short called "Redeemer"... hey, here it is on YouTube!  It's got five thumbs up!  That's... that's a start.  Opening credits by Adobe, BTW...  Guess I'll have to watch it later.  Got weekend guests to attend to, you know!

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